Musings of an Orthodox Jew

Thoughts on Torah and the Jewish world today.

Burning Messianic tracts aimed at conversion -Orignially posted June 10, 2008

OK, so this one is going to be controversial, and undoubtedly will be unpopular, particularly because of the conclusions I come to in it. But hey, whats life without controversy?

A while back a few questions were asked on Yahoo! Answers about the burning of the Brit Chadashah and other Messianic tracts, containing the shem hameforash in Hebrew, in Israel. At the time I said I wondered what the halachic implications would be: if the law to burn items involved in Avodah Zara overruled the inherent holiness of the shem in Hebrew.

So, unable to find an answer, I have continued to look- and on Shavuot I asked Rabbi Hirsh Rosenblum, who was a student of Rav Moshe and also learnt from Rav Komentsky. His answer was simple: The Rambam states that we burn a Torah written by an apikoros. Now, if a Torah that is kosher in all ways except for by whom it was written by is burnt because of its connection to Avoda Zara, how much more so we are required to destroy any Messianic tracts whose purpose is to draw Jews into Avodah Zara, regardless of what they contain!

June 24, 2008 - Posted by | Messianic, Uncategorized


  1. makes sense, but undoubtedly not a popular view. Got many hate mails from this post yet?

    Comment by Avraham | June 26, 2008 | Reply

  2. Nope, not yet. Guess I don’t have much of an audience yet!

    Comment by marcl1969 | June 27, 2008 | Reply

  3. Marc, I find your blog extremely intolerant and almost racist. I am an orthodox Jew. I try to be as observant as I can. I have nowhere near the knowlege you have about Torah, but I see the good side of all religions
    You can out argue me on just about anything. I respect your knowlege enormously, but I dont respect your belittling of other beliefs.

    Try, if you can, to understand where others are coming from. We all believe in the same God. We curse the likes of Hitler for their intolerance and Xenophobia. Why do you follow the same narrow minded and hateful practices? I am not in any way comparing you to Hitler. God Forbid. Just trying to draw a comparison.
    edit by Marc: why the lie about being an orthodox Jew when you clearly stated on the other forum that you belong to a progressive community where women lead the prayer and you have a female rabbi? You think you give your post extra credence by posing as something you are not?

    Comment by Shoshana | July 2, 2008 | Reply

  4. Shashana this is not about tolerance for other religions. It is about destroying materials related to idol worship that have been distributed, unasked for, amongst Jews. By placing these items, unasked for, on the doorsteps of Jewish homes (and in my case in my post box, through the gate etc) they have shown no tolerance or respect towards Jews and Judaism. So, why should we not obey the Torah and do as it commands when it is material that is unwanted, unasked for and thrust onto us in the middle of the niht by people too cowardly to even face us?

    In reality the bottom line is that the Torah commands us to destroy items related to idol worship so we don’t even get tempted to look at it. How many copies of the Messianic conversion material should be left lyingaround? Material that is soul destroying and deliberately designed to entice the uneducated into converting? The answer- none. They want us to show respect and tolerance- that starts with them not littering Jewish neighborhoods with their unasked for rubbish!

    Comment by marcl1969 | July 2, 2008 | Reply

  5. Shoshana I don’t see how you nderstand Marc to be preaching about xenophobia and intolerance. He doesn’t call for action against Christians or anyone else, he doesn’t go into rants against them. What he does do is speak out against the harassment of Jews by missionaries. Marc has this post where he talks out against Missionary pamphlets left on people’s doorsteps, and his other post where he objects to the deceptive practices of Messianic Jews and related movements. I do not see these posts as xenophobia, intolerant or racist.

    Comment by Avraham | July 2, 2008 | Reply

  6. At last, a discussion! LOL

    Seriously, this is what I hope to achieve in this blog- people actually discussing what is written here- politely and rationally…

    Obviously I agree with what Avraham has said (he supports me after all!)

    Just to make an additional point- nowhere have I called for action against Christians, Messianic Jews or anyone else. Do I disagree with their views? Yep- that should be clear from my posts. Have I ever called for action against them? Nope. Their is a difference in disagreement and making calls for action against people. Do I support action against Missionaries/Messianic Jews etc? Only of the kind that you see in movements such as Jews for Judaism- in other words peaceful education and countering of the propaganda they put out.

    Comment by marcl1969 | July 2, 2008 | Reply

  7. Torat Emet Natan Lano.

    Comment by Gabi | March 19, 2010 | Reply

  8. […] Burning Messianic tracts aimed at conversion -Orignially posted June 10, 2008 June 2008 7 comments […]

    Pingback by 2010 in review « Musings of an Orthodox Jew | January 2, 2011 | Reply

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